Joint Seed Industry Statement on Seed Safety

July 31, 2020

With recent reports of individuals receiving unsolicited packages of seed in Canada and the United States, Canada’s seed industry wants to reassure Canadians of our food safety measures and that you can trust the seed you purchase from Canadian companies.

The government has an excellent inspection system in place to protect the supply chain; audits, quality verification, and multiple testing points ensure that seeds that are sold for planting are safe. Any seed imported to Canada by seed companies and by producers must be tested. Plant health is a priority for our industry, and we are proud of Canadian seed companies for the measures they take to ensure the quality of seeds.

If you receive an unsolicited package of seeds in the mail, please report it to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and do not plant the seeds. Small amounts of seed received in the mail most likely have not been tested and imported seed may be a vector for the potential spread of unwanted, invasive plant species, soil-borne diseases, or insect pests. You should only plant seeds from trusted sources, including from our member organizations that provide garden and vegetable seeds to consumers. Consumers should be careful to confirm where their seed purchases come from, especially if you are purchasing online. The best bet is to buy from a reliable and known seed company.

Seed safety is always an important topic, but especially in 2020, which is the International Year of Plant Health (IYPH). The goal of the IYPH is to raise global awareness on how protecting plant health can help end hunger, reduce poverty, protect the environment, and boost economic development. Everyone has a role to play in ensuring plant health by respecting regulations that have been put in place, and being careful about bringing plants and plant products (e.g. seeds, vegetables, cut flowers) across borders, even when you order from online sources.

On behalf of our members in the seed industry, we encourage everyone to learn more about seed safety and plant health. Join the conversation online using #IYPH2020, share your plant health story and support Canadian seed companies.

Remember – it all starts with seed! Canada’s seed industry represents over 60,000 jobs, contributes over $6 billion to the economy and exports more than $640 million annually and is the vital first link in the entire agricultural value chain. Our members are proud contributors to our nation’s economy and to the health and well-being of Canadian consumers.


Download the PDF here.

To learn more:

For media inquiries, please contact:

Seed Industry Partners:

Canadian Plant Technology Agency:

Commercial Seed Analysts Association of Canada:

Canadian Seed Growers’ Association:

Canadian Seed Institute:

CropLife Canada:

Canadian Seed Trade Association: